Stan Australia has released the gripping true story Against The Law and it is captivating viewing.
Set against the backdrop of London in the 1950’s it tells the true stories of gay men being prosecuted for homosexuality.
The film follows Peter Wildeblood, the only openly gay man to testify before The Wolfenden Committee in 1955.
Against The Law is a harrowing reminder of our past
Released in 2017 Against The Law is a blend of documentary and drama.
Now airing on Stan Australia it tells the true story of the lives of several gay men in London in the 1950s.
Interspersed between actors retelling their stories, real men who lived through these times narrate their stories on screen.
The result is a heart wrenching and captivating illustration of what it was like for gay men to be hunted and prosecuted when homosexuality was illegal.
It’s a timely reminder as we begin Mardi Gras celebrations of just how far we’ve come and why we march.
“Gross indecency and buggery”
Peter Wildeblood played by Daniel Mays is the lead in this raw and emotional drama.
Playing opposite him in Against The Law is comedian Richard Gadd in the role of Eddie McNally.
A lonely writer, Peter searches for company in the backend bars of London.
Encountering Eddie by chance, the two strike up a romance that will ultimately lead to their downfall.
After they are discovered Peter is arrested, charged and imprisoned on the charges of “Gross indecency and Buggery.”
Watching as Peter is forced to stand in a courtroom and hear his love letters to Eddie readout and questioned is almost as hard to watch as his treatment that followed.
While Peter is locked up with hundreds of other gay men charged with similar crimes, the government attempts to fix him.
“I shouldn’t be here. This shouldn’t be happening to me” he cries as prison doctors attempt to “cure” him.
Equally heartbreaking is Eddie McNally turning Peter over to the police in order to escape prison time.
Harsh realities laid bare in Against The Law
What works most about this blend of documentary and filmmaking is the ability to draw the two worlds together.
The subjects sit front and centre as they deliver stories that make your blood run cold.
Recounting a time when they were removed from their homes and imprisoned was hard enough.
But retelling the stories of their own and of those who have passed provides an extra level of strength and power to this film.
The subjects serve as narrators that amplify the story before us.
Understanding that they are not just telling these stories, but that they have lived them is all the more powerful.
Against The Law is the dark page of our history, one that should not be forgotten.
Watch a clip from Against The Law below, it is now available to stream on Stan Australia.
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